so i don’t wanna pollute facebook with a million random things all night, so i’ll just do it here.

it’s been a crazy busy week and today is the first day i’ve not had to go anywhere or do anything. sunday was st. ed’s, monday was waterloo (super-hard stuff to play, wow), and tuesday was the austin civic wind ensemble, which was my first rehearsal with them. they’re playing a cute concert of mexican songs which is fun. wednesday i had a walk-through meeting for the RAWartists show on the 21st, where i’ll be showing my encaustics among lots of other artists, musicians, hair & makeup people, photographers, filmmakers, performance artists, fashionistas, and others. it’s a “cocktail attire” affair at the belmont (305 west 6th), 8pm – 2am (which is gonna be difficult, ouch) and i’m not sure how it’s gonna work with all the attendant accessories i would like to have with me if i make a sale. assuming i make a sale. gotta keep a positive attitude. i also have to sell tickets for this thing; artists have to sell 20 tickets at $15 each (=$300) or make up the difference ourselves. so it’d be nice if i could sell all 20, yikes. do i even know 20 people who’d come?

thursday made me cranky — the show we (the austin encaustic artists group) had at the dougherty had kind of a sad opening last month — mostly the artists and their loved ones. so they decided to have a closing reception too — although i don’t know who decided or when, as it was just randomly announced on the facebook group within the week. taking the show down was gonna be on friday during the day, but suddenly it got moved to thursday night after the reception ended at 8:30. that’s fun. so yeah, thursday night suddenly went from a free night to a taken one. but friday i had an oboe lesson which is always fun, and the evening was free, so we went to a friend’s whisky tasting party — woo!! i brought a rare port-aged edradour (not just *finished* in port casks but aged in them from the very beginning) and got to taste some other yummy things. the japanese yamazaki scotch in particular was really really nice. seems weird but they’ve got the right climate and everything for making scotch, so… yeah, yummy.

today was totally free. we went to costco briefly and then i practiced oboe for a while, patiently trying to break the howarth in for 20 minutes (swabbing it out after 10) and then switching to the old one… argh… tried to make a reed but totally sucked at it — i can tie them fine now but when it comes to carving/shaving them i’m a disaster. gotta hang on until friday’s oboe lesson where i can get a hands-on demo. and there’s new cane coming in plus some bitchin’ neon blue thread, woo. hopefully i’ll get a handle on it with the (20-year-old) cane i have left before i destroy any of the new stuff… (20 years, there’s yer problem, hah)

there’s a mosquito in here and it’s making me nuts. where the hell are they coming from? i kill one and another appears in its place. argh.

so tomorrow there’s a reception way up in georgetown for the encaustic show at the library there from 2-4, and then st. ed’s from 5-7. who knows if i’ll be able to make it from one to the other on time — i’ve already emailed the conductor to tell him i might be late. no idea what the traffic might be like, and it takes like 45 minutes even when there’s no traffic. actually i’m thinking the super bowl might eat all the traffic, because by 4:00 everybody’s pretty much glued to the tv anyway. maybe.

and then the week starts all over again with work on monday at 5am. woohoo!!

ensemble playing, yay!

so i contacted four community bands/orchestras and will be playing in probably 3, though i’ve only rehearsed with one of the three yet.

the fourth one was the austin symphonic band; they let me sit in on a rehearsal even though they don’t need any oboes. as it happened two of the oboists were gone that night so it was a good thing i was around. they’re phenomenal. it’s a full-on symphonic band lineup with 90 players. big rich sound, totally amazing. bummer i won’t be joining them, but whatever.

i went to the waterloo wind band’s rehearsal on monday night and it was fun — a small, growing group that has a lot of promise. they’re rehearsing for a spring concert and so it’s all broadway and pops, which i kinda dislike. but oh well — they were so glad to have an oboist — they had none at all — that they were all “an oboe! yay!!” when i walked in.

then i had a little, brief audition with the conductor of the st. edward’s university orchestra — apparently it’s such that they need players from the community to fill out the roster, as st. ed’s is not exactly a music school. i played a bit of the schumann i’ve been working on (three romances) and did a little sightreading for him, and he was satisfied and invited me to play. i think he just wanted to make sure i didn’t completely suck.

this coming tuesday is the austin civic wind ensemble‘s rehearsal. i inquired and they were totally like yeah, come along. don’t know much about them. they’re way up north and the rehersals are 7:30 to 9:30 pm — that gets me home around 10, and then i get up at 4:30 for work, which sucks as i try to be in bed by 9, but whatever. i’ll manage. waterloo is the same hours but they’re like 5-10 minutes away. st. ed’s is earlier, 5-7 and they’re totally close too.

so st. ed’s is sunday night, waterloo is monday night, and ACWE is tuesday night. i kinda wonder if i’m spreading myself too thin, but we’ll see.

the howarth is lovely but i have to break it in carefully so i can only play it like 10 minutes at a time for a while.

i tried to make a reed yesterday but it was a huge fail. couldn’t keep the cane straight, couldn’t tie it tight enough to close the sides, couldn’t wrap it well… god, it was awful. i was watching kerry willingham’s videos on youtube and trying to follow along but didn’t succeed. gonna have to have faith teach me in person. i used to make my reeds back when, but apparently i’ve completely forgotten how. the reeds i’ve been buying so far completely suck. argh.

i really need to get my butt into the encaustic studio again — haven’t been in weeks. i’ve got plenty of time to do it, just haven’t been sufficiently motivated.

wow, ltns

dang, it’s been early october since i updated.

since then i’ve been rather active with the austin encaustic arts group, showing at the dougherty center and soon to show at the georgetown library. also doing raw artists, a one-night show of new and emerging artists in all sorts of categories.

also i’ve picked up the oboe again, after a good 17 years of not playing a single note. when i left minneapolis (and the minnesota philharmonic) and got to massachusetts, i didn’t know a soul in boston/cambridge and had no idea where there were any groups to play with or anything, and so i just sorta let it slide… and slide and slide. got to texas, still sliding. but lately i’ve really been missing that creative outlet — and i was so, so very good. music has always been my first love even though i’ve abandoned it and done it oh so wrong over the years.

so i’m busy building my embouchure back up and re-learning some fingerings. took a lesson from a woman who’s studied with one of the oboists in the austin symphony; that gives me confidence in her and she’s super-nice. plus, the other teacher i tried to contact never got back to me, so pphhttbbtt.

and i’ve been working on mathew for a new oboe. the one i have technically belongs to my former college, oops. looking at the yamaha YOB-441, which is around $3000. i’m told it’s better than the fox 330, which is about $500 more than the yamaha. probably not gonna happen until we get a tax refund this spring. itching and itching for it though. both those models are “intermediate,” i.e. not beginner instruments but not super-professional quality, somewhere in between. no way could i afford a professional model.

so yeah. busy with art these days. feels good.

wow, a new post.

so costa rica seems like a million years ago now. what a great trip, though, man. that art kit i so painstakingly put together? didn’t use it at all. like not one bit.

in more local news, i’ve been in my encaustic studio working away and have a new website where it’s all posted at — http://rothkunst.com — “kunst” is the german word for “art.” i get to show under the studio’s umbrella at EAST (east austin studio tour) in mid-november so i’ve gotta get busy making a bunch more work as well as building cradle frames for it all and blah blah. october is gonna fly by. at least i’ve got the website up and business cards on order. i need help from fellow artists on how to price my work though. going to an artist consultant this coming week to get tips on that sort of thing and making the most of that open studio and just the artist business stuff in general.

going to a clothing swap to finally release those size 10s i’ve been desperately hanging on to in some vain hope that i’ll actually wear them again some day… sigh. 14 and just around the corner from 16 — gained three sizes in three years. it’s gotta stop, but i’ve got some mental block that prevents me from actually taking the steps i need. it’s self-destructive behavior and at this point i’d seriously call it binge eating. not cool. better read that geneen roth book again…

encaustic class, yay!

so there was a beginning encaustic class this weekend at austin art lab — both saturday and sunday afternoons from 1-6. i’m not quite a beginner but at this point i’ll take what i can get since i have no opportunity to do it at home. so i ended up with like seven pieces, some of which are cool and some of which are awful, but i’m totally happy.

especially since i got a lead on some ventilated space available for like $100 a month. dude!!

Day 23 of 30 days to Get your art on

so yesterday i decided to take my journal pages about a certain subject and put them all into their own book. that involved ripping about half the signatures out of the moleskine i’d been working in and binding them all together with my zutter bind-it-all. i collaged the covers (haven’t done the back cover yet) and here it is.
front cover
that’s charlotte gainsbourg from a balenciaga perfume ad.

first page
inside front
i like how the inside front cover tells a delicious story…

inside back

i also bound the remaining blank pages from the moleskine since i’m sure there will be much more to say about my subject…